Teeth Whitening – When You Should Avoid It

Teeth whitening is one of the common dental corrections people with yellowing teeth go for. Whitening is essentially required when teeth get an additional layer of yellowish coating which makes them look dirty and ugly. While most toothpastes help remove basic stains, these do not help when the stain is more etched out. Though the outcome of this cosmetic procedure is most often sparkling white teeth, dentists regularly warn that it is not for everyone. People who have healthy teeth, with no fillings and gum problems can go for teeth whitening. Basically teeth whitening is all about bleaching and is thus not recommended for one and all. Here are 5 circumstances where teeth whitening should be avoided.

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Pregnant Women and Under-age Children

Pregnant and lactating women are not recommended to go for teeth whitening as the bleaching agents used can harm the body. Bleaching is also not suggested for children under the age of 16 mainly because the procedure can irritate the nerve under the tooth or the pulp chamber. Children have enlarged pulp chambers which become sensitive when bleached.

People with Allergies and Sensitive Teeth

Teeth whitening is also not recommended for people complaining of sensitive teeth and gums. People who suffer from receding gums and defective restorations are also advised against teeth whitening. Patients allergic to peroxide (the whitening agent) are also advised against bleaching.

People with Gum Diseases, Worn Enamel, Cavities and Exposed Roots

Patients who suffer from gum disease and worn enamel are discouraged to undergo teeth whitening. If you are suffering from cavities, it should be treated before the cosmetic procedure. This is essential because the whitening solution can penetrate into the decayed tooth and cause sensitivity problems. Furthermore, whitening procedures do not work well on exposed tooth roots which lack the much-required enamel layer.

People with Dental Restoration, Fillings and Crowns

If you have recently gone for tooth-colored fillings and dental restorations (such as crowns, veneers, bonding, and bridges), do not think of whitening the teeth. It is because teeth that contain restoration do not whiten. Even if whitening procedure is carried on such teeth, the result would be uneven whitening – the teeth without restoration will appear lighter than those with restoration. It is advised that teeth whitening should be done before restorations.

Having Unrealistic Expectations

You cannot expect to get absolute white teeth after this cosmetic procedure. That’s quite an unrealistic expectation. Smokers should also be warned that the effect of teeth whitening will be limited for them unless they quit smoking. They should particularly avoid smoking during the bleaching process.

People with Badly Stained Teeth

Dentists identify different types of stains. Yellowish teeth, brownish teeth, teeth with grayish-hue or purple-stained teeth are some types of stains. Bleaching works well on yellowish teeth while brownish-colored teeth respond less to the procedure. On the other hand, purple-stained teeth may not respond to bleaching at all. If you have badly stained teeth, it could be better to go for other lightening options such as veneers, bonding, crowns etc. You can consult your dentist to know what suits you best.

Teeth whitening can give quite satisfying results for people with light stains. However, you need to consult your dentist before taking to any decision.